Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Obama's Bowling Prowess

Just a quick word about all the attention being paid to his admittedly crappy performance on the lanes at a campaign stop in Altoona, PA last weekend. First, look at the picture above; that is not the stance of a man that spends a lot of time at bowling alleys. In fact, by his own admission he hadn't thrown a ball since he was 16, three decades ago. As to his much talked about and over-analyzed score of 37, he posted that in the sixth frame with a spare in the seventh which he never followed up on. Had he finished out the rest of his frames he would have most likely posted a score in the 70-80 range; still fairly weak but at least respectable for an entire game by a novice.

But if you've been watching the news lately you've probably been asking yourself, how does the man's lack of bowling ability have anything to do with his being qualified to be our next president? The answer, of course, is that it obviously doesn't but the coverage of this story does call attention to a phenomenon that is important for us all to recognize: a nonstop, 24 hour media cycle, employing hundreds of news anchors, political pundits and talking heads, that has absolutely nothing better to discuss during the six week lull between presidential primaries.

If you ever needed an example as to how the vast majority of the corporate-owned media companies continually offer up insubstantial puff-pieces, canned talking points and one-dimensional political analysis, this endless flogging of a completely unnecessary non-story should do nicely. Americans are becoming much more sophisticated and media-savvy with each passing generation and we're tired of being spoon fed irrelevant, dumbed-down pseudo news and vacuous entertainment fluff. It's brainless distractions like this that will just hasten the inevitable replacement of all mainstream news media outlets with reliable, multi-sourced, net-based news services, and I for one can not wait.


Anonymous said...

Heard about this on the radio today. Sounds like Letterman has a pretty funny bit going. I especially liked this one that got cut: "He looks like the guy who makes keys at hardware store"

Funny stuff. I like it when any of these candidates takes time to be made fun of in person. So to this I say, you bowl, Barry. You bowl.

JBW said...

I agree, we need more light-heartedness and less ad hominem attacks for sure. I personally thought that Clinton was very funny on SNL a few weeks ago.

I just found it frustrating that for days I've been hearing right-wingers cap on him for the 37, saying that he sucks, that he bowls like a pansy, that their 5 year old daughter could out-bowl him, etc. Then I see on The Daily Show that he stopped his game in the middle and that's why his score was so low. That wouldn't be a big deal normally but the media has been harping on it for days as if it's actually important. I'm all for having fun with the candidates and being serious with the candidates but there has to be a division between the two.